IBM & Cisco Work Together for Biz WLANs

By Eric Griffith

March 02, 2005

Big Blue's new Secure Wireless Networking Solution mixes its own laptops and servers with Cisco hardware to deliver wireless for the enterprise.

IBM's Secure Wireless Networking Solution—a new bundle of products and services from Big Blue—will now utilize wireless networking equipment from Cisco Systems .

The combination of IBM and Cisco products has been tested to create an "end-to-end wireless networking solution designed specifically for businesses of approximately 100 to 1,000 employees," according to a statement. It will be sold exclusively by IBM Business Partners, which will in turn be the system integrators for the end customers.

The suite of products available under the Secure Wireless Networking Solution include IBM ThinkPad laptops (T,X and R series, including the brand new R52 with Centrino-based 802.11a/b/g support), IBM Websphere Everyplace Connections Manager (WECM) software, IBM eServer xSeries 226 servers to run WECM, IBM InfoPrint 1000 printers, and, finally, Cisco's Aironet family of Wi-Fi access points as well as Integrated Services Routers and CiscoSecure Access Control Server v3.3.

This is not the first time the two companies have worked together. They've teamed over the last couple of years on everything from network storage, to network safety against viruses, to VoIP.

Cisco says the combination of products in this latest solution "allows users to connect easily and more securely to their network."

Cisco's own internal Wi-Fi plans may be in flux. eWeek reported last week that the company is finally moving ahead with integrating Wi-Fi into its own router and switch products, via the Wireless LAN Services Module (WLSM), a blade server for the Catalyst 6500 switches. While this would seem to compete with WLAN switches from various startups like Meru, Aruba and Trapeze, that hasn't stopped Cisco from buying one of those startups, Airespace, in a $425 million stock swap that's expected to be finalized by April.



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